PHILADELPHIA – Carl H. June, MD, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and director of Translational Research in Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, has been awarded a 2016 Novartis Prize for Clinical Immunotherapy for his work developing personalized cellular therapies for cancer using Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells (CAR T cells), a technology which modifies a patients’ own cells to attack their cancers.
June leads the Penn team who achieved the first successful and sustained demonstration of the use of CAR T cell therapy, an investigational approach in which a patient’s cells are removed through an apheresis process similar to dialysis and modified in Penn's cell and vaccine production facilities.
He shares this year’s prize with Zelig Eshhar, PhD, of Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, and Steven Rosenberg, MD, PhD, of the National Institutes of Health.
June has published more than 350 manuscripts and has received numerous prizes and honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine in 2012, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, the William B. Coley award, the Karl Landsteiner Memorial Award from the AABB, the Richard V. Smalley Memorial Award from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, the Philadelphia Award, and the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence. In 2014, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
June is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He received graduate training in Immunology and malaria at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and post-doctoral training in transplantation biology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
The Novartis Prizes for Immunology are awarded every three years for breakthrough contributions to the fields of basic and clinical immunology and can be shared between as many as three scientists. The winners are selected by an independent jury of world-class immunologists. The awards were presented this week during the 16th International Congress of Immunology in Melbourne, Australia. Read more in the Novartis press release.